As we get closer to the end of the year, there is more than just trick-or-treating and holiday spirit in the air. It is the season of sneezing and coughing, also known as the cold and flu season.
Fighting off an illness takes a toll on your body and can affect your personal and work life. Whether you are a student, work full-time in the office, or take care of an entire household, germs are spread in every environment.
With cold and flu season approaching quickly, our office is beginning to bring plenty of patients that are experiencing a lot of the same symptoms. If you are feeling lethargic and need medical attention, feel free to come into our South Coast Medical Group family practice or urgent care in Aliso Viejo. We are open every single day of the week with physicians ready to help, and no appointment is necessary.
The best thing you can do is to take precautions to protect yourself before these illnesses spread.
Utilize these ways to avoid feeling under the weather:
Practice Good Hygiene
Support your immune system through mindful health habits. Avoiding your exposure to germs is key to remaining healthy. Good hygiene acts as a line of defense against the cold and flu. According to the National Health Service, flu viruses generally survive on surfaces for 24 hours, meaning just one sick family member or coworker could pass on the illness to an entire group in the right setting. Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without first washing your hands to ensure they are germ-free.
Get Enough Sleep
Treating sleep as a priority, rather than a luxury, is an important step to preventing a number of illnesses. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Cytokines help the body fight infection by regulating the immune system. Long-term lack of sleep can also put you at risk for more serious illnesses and diseases. The optimal amount of sleep should be from 7-8 hours every night.
Healthy immune system fighters need good, regular nourishment. What you fuel your body with has one of the biggest impacts on your overall health. In order for our organs and tissues to function accordingly, each person needs proper nutrition intake from food. Having a balanced diet with whole and nutritious foods boosts your immunity and helps fight bacteria and pathogens that you are exposed to.
Cut Down Stress
Stress not only takes a toll on your mental and emotional health but your physical health as well. Although stress can be unavoidable at times, it’s necessary to keep it a bay when possible. When the body is under stress, it releases the hormone, cortisol. This hormone helps your body fight inflammation and disease. A heavy amount of stress results in a constant release of cortisol, which lessens its overall effectiveness in the long run.
Get Your Flu Shot
Lastly, the most important tactic to avoid getting sick is by receiving vaccinations. Flu vaccines contain influenza antigens, which signal the immune system to produce antibodies. These antibodies can protect against invading flu viruses and keep people from getting sick. Our office has current flu shots available, come in any day of the week.
Both of these respiratory illnesses cause major discomfort and inconvenience to our daily lives. If you want to learn how to stay healthy throughout every season of the year, be sure to follow us on Facebook.